The Leaders of the New Online World

Tuesday, March 02, 2021 - By: Dale F, Whittall ‘21

Graduation is an exciting time for many people, filled with ceremonies, parties and many, MANY longer-than-socially-acceptable speeches. Luckily for the Grads of 2020, they did not have to endure the excruciating pain of these monologues, or the many tears shed as they said goodbye to the friends they may not see for many years.

All jokes aside, the Grads were understandably very disappointed that the pandemic threw a lot of their plans off course, and, sadly, many were not able to enjoy the excitement of in-person end-of-year celebrations last spring.

So, what do their lives look like now? I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a few ‘20 Grads and getting their input on what life looks like after Brentwood during COVID-19.

LJ Lavallee, Hope ‘20, states that school feels “off this year. It is weird being in my dorm at UVIC, but still having to attend classes online.” She continued by talking about how everyone at the school has done their best to make the experience feel normal, but the fact of the matter is that it’s hard to have a sense of normality through a screen. Though there are continued struggles with online classes, she has found that being at the school and surrounded by people who are also there to learn has made the experience worth it, motivating her to put in the extra effort to excel in her courses. Like us, LJ is in a cohort at UVic.

Chris Brizzi, Rogers ‘20 mentioned that this past year was quite different from what he was expecting. Typically a newly graduated student would get to “experience life on a university campus with all the social events taking place”. However, his first semester of university was held solely online. As he is in a music program, typically he would be collaborating with many other musicians, but due to Covid this was not possible. His classes and music lessons were also held on Zoom, which he thought was still enjoyable, but obviously not what he was hoping for.

Hallie Baker, Alex ‘20 attends online classes at Camosun, and has found a lot of success with her virtual academics. She is taking Chemistry 090 and English 151 as prerequisites for medical science. Her classes start in the morning and are an hour and a half each. She describes her experience as a “love-hate relationship with online school” because it gives her the “freedom to watch the classes at my own pace but requires more self discipline and organization”. Her favourite part of online classes is being able to “do school in her sweatpants - which is great” and her biggest challenge is that teachers are sometimes not so tech savvy, so occasionally they “forget to post homework”.

The past 12 months has presented the Grad Class of 2020 with many challenges they have needed to learn to overcome, especially as they are the first year that have had to learn to adapt to the new learning systems. Though there are some struggles, they have been able to find success in an uncertain world, and continue to lead bright futures no matter their Covid circumstances.

I am excited to see what they accomplish in the future, and am very grateful on behalf of the 2021 Grad Class to have mentors to reach out to and seek advice from. Thank you, Grad 2020, for leading the way into this new world. On behalf of the Brentwood community, we wish you the best on your endeavors!

Dale F, Whittall ‘21

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